Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
An essential component of many medical marijuana programs is medical cannabis cards, which offer several benefits. Whether you’re a caregiver or a patient, it’s critical to understand the processes of obtaining and renewing your cannabis card, so you can continue receiving medical weed.
While many countries use the term “medical marijuana card,” Finland calls them Compassionate Use permits. Advantages of these forms of identification include being able to purchase medical cannabis from a pharmacy, as well as proving you’re approved to use medical marijuana to law enforcement. This is critical, as recreational weed is still illegal in Finland.
Applying for a medical marijuana card in Finland is a hassle-free process:
After you obtain your Compassionate Use permit or medical cannabis card, you can visit your local pharmacy to pick up your prescription. Not every drugstore in Finland carries medical weed, so you’ll want to check beforehand.
It’s essential to note that Sativex does not require a Compassionate Use permit. This is because it obtained marketing authorization in 2012, which eliminates the need for patients to have special permission to use the cannabis-based medicine.
Like other countries, Finland requires patients to renew their Compassionate Use permits. While some medical cannabis cards last for years, Compassionate Use permits are only valid for one year.
To recertify your permit, you’ll file a new application with your doctor and provide the following information:
Once FIMEA has approved your submission, you can resume purchasing your medical cannabis.
Whether Finland will extend the expiration period for its permits is unknown. For many patients, it would be a convenient measure, as the application takes time to complete and send out. The form also requires information your physician must provide, such as their written reasoning for prescribing medical cannabis.
Finland does not require physicians to receive additional training or certification to prescribe medical marijuana or cannabis-based medications — the only requirement is that a specialist prescribes it to you. For example, a neurologist would have to issue your prescription if you had a spinal cord injury.
Because of this decision by legislators, it’s essential to ensure your specialist is familiar with medical weed’s uses, benefits, side effects and delivery methods. If they aren’t, it’s unlikely they’ll consider recommending it to you.
If your specialist is unfamiliar with medical cannabis, consider requesting a referral. Meeting with an experienced doctor who is educated about your condition and medical marijuana ensures you’re receiving the best care and medical advice.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we provide patients and their loved ones with in-depth information about medical cannabis research, legislation, programs and more. Whether you’re interested in learning about Canada’s or Finland’s medical marijuana card program, you can trust us to deliver up-to-date, accurate information.